ABC News Corona Virus Health and Science

How coronavirus survivors' symptoms presented and the road to recovery from the disease

ABC News' Kaylee Hartung explains the importance of social distancing.

Chris Kane, who fell ill with the virus after a business trip to Florida at the end of February, said he had one of the major symptoms -- pressure on his chest.

"What got me kind of nervous was when my chest started to feel like, you know, an elephant was standing on [it] basically tough to get your breath," he explained.

Kane's battle with the virus became so severe he was put on a ventilator and has since improved with the use of the same drug that was once tested to treat Ebola.

"My breathing got better, [it] wasn't as painful. I was able to move around the room," he explained of how he felt when his body started to recover.

Utah residents Jerri and Mark Jorgensen told ABC News that they are home and recovering, but still isolating, after they both became infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Mark Jorgensen said, "When I was diagnosed, I was showing no symptoms. So I was quite surprised."

His wife explained their new normal, for now, has included staying in different rooms in their home.

"There's no hugs or kisses or even fistbumps," she said. "What we've chosen to do is just, you know, keep our wits about us. Be calm, be present. This is what it is. And we are going to get through it."

What to know about Coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Even celebrities like Tom Hanks, his wife Rita Wilson and Idris Elba -- who all tested positive for COVID-19 and spoke out about their experiences on social media -- have since shared their stories of recovery.

    "Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever .... We are all in this together. Flatten the curve," Hanks posted on Instagram.

    ABC News' Kaylee Hartung, who recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus after covering the outbreak in Seattle, Washington, last week, said it took a few days before she had a runny nose and body aches and warned "by the time you feel symptoms it's too late."

    "Last Wednesday it was just a runny nose. I honestly thought it was allergies. I didn't think it was anything more than that," she explained. "I woke up the next morning just last Thursday -- and you know when you wake up and you know something's wrong immediately? You just feel it in your body -- I knew something was off, and that's when I started consulting medical professionals."

    Hartung said she does not know who she came into direct contact with that was positive with the virus and felt fine initially upon returning from Seattle.

    "What was notable to me was I wasn't having the symptoms that were being so closely associated with coronavirus. I wasn't having any sort of a dry cough. I didn't have any shortness of breath and I didn't feel pressure on my chest," she explained. "So it was easy for me at first to think, this is nothing."

    Hartung, 34, also said that initially her health care provider wasn't going to have her tested because they said "your symptoms are too mile."

    "My health care provider called me back and said, 'because of where you have been, we do want you to get tested,'" Hartung said. "I empathize for so many people in my position who have these mild symptoms, who aren't experiencing something so severe or if you need hospitalization or you even require special care, I empathize with you completely."

    She hopes to be "a reality check" for people with mild symptoms.

    "We need to be listening to our bodies and recognizing there are no coincidences right now," she said.

    Doctors have told Hartung to isolate for 14 days from the day when her symptoms first presented.

    "If I'm being asked to stay inside for 14 days, I think if we all did that, if everyone who could really take this lockdown seriously, we could get past this so much faster and that's my plea to everyone," she said.

    "Social distancing needs to be taken seriously. By the time you have symptoms, it's too late," she pressed. "You have already been capable of spreading this virus -- take this very seriously, and let's do everything we can to help each other through this."

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    This report was featured in the Thursday, March 19, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

    "Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.